Isaiah 2:6

6 For you have forsaken the ways of your people, O house of Jacob. Indeed they are full of diviners from the east and of soothsayers like the Philistines, and they clasp hands with foreigners.

Isaiah 2:6 Meaning and Commentary

Isaiah 2:6

Therefore thou hast forsaken thy people, the house of
These words contain a reason of the divine conduct, in calling the Gentiles, and rejecting the Jews, because of the sins of the latter hereafter mentioned; though some, as the Targum and R. Moses, refer this to the Israelites; and read, "because ye have forsaken" and interpret it of their forsaking the Lord, his worship, and his law. What is hereafter said does not agree with the Jews, literally understood, neither in the times of Isaiah, nor when they returned from Babylon, nor in the times of Christ, nor since the destruction of Jerusalem, or in the latter day, a little before their conversion; for after the Babylonish captivity they were not given to idolatry, nor did they abound in riches, and much less since their dispersion among the nations; nor will this be their case in the latter day: wherefore Kimchi applies the whole to the times of Solomon, when the land abounded with gold and silver, with horses and chariots, and with idolatry also, in the latter part of his life: but it seems best to interpret this of antichrist and his followers, who call themselves the people of God, and the house of Jacob, say they are Jews, but are not, and are of the synagogue of Satan; and are therefore rejected of the Lord, and will be given up to utter ruin and destruction, for the evils found in them, hereafter charged with.

Because they be replenished from the east,
or "more than the east" {s}; than the eastern people, the Syrians and Chaldeans; that is, were more filled with witchcrafts and sorceries than they, as Kimchi explains it; of the sorceries of the Romish antichrist, see ( Revelation 9:21 ) ( 18:23 ) the words may be rendered, "because they be full from of old time" F20; or, as of old, or more than they were of old; namely, fuller of idols than formerly; so the Targum paraphrases it,

``because your land is full of idols, as of old;''

and so Rome Papal is as full of idols, or fuller, than Rome Pagan was. Some, as Aben Ezra, understand this of their being filled with the wisdom of the children of the east, ( 1 Kings 4:30 ) and others of the riches of the east:

and [are] soothsayers like the Philistines:
who were a people given to divination and soothsaying, ( 1 Samuel 6:2 ) and some of the popes of Rome have studied the black art, and by such wicked means have got into the Papal chair; for under this may be included all evil arts and fallacious methods, by which they have deceived themselves and others:

and they please themselves in the children of strangers;
being brought into their convents, monasteries, and nunneries; the priests and nuns vowing celibacy and virginity, and contenting themselves with the children of others: or they love strange flesh, delight in sodomitical practices, and unnatural lusts with boys and men; wherefore Rome is called Sodom and Egypt, ( Revelation 11:8 ) or they content and delight themselves in the laws, customs, rites, ceremonies, and doctrines of other nations; many of the Gentile notions and practices being introduced into the faith and worship of the church of Rome; wherefore the Papists go by the name of Gentiles, ( Revelation 11:2-18 ) . The Targum is,

``and they walk in the laws of the people,''

or study strange sciences, and not the statutes and laws of God; so some interpret it, as Ben Melech observes, and who also mentions another sense some give, that they please themselves in images they renew daily.


F19 (Mdqm) "prae oriente, vel filiis orientis", Vatablus.
F20 (ap' archv) , Sept.; "ut olim", Vulg. Lat. Sic Syr. & Ar.

Isaiah 2:6 In-Context

4 He shall judge between the nations, and shall arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
5 O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the Lord!
6 For you have forsaken the ways of your people, O house of Jacob. Indeed they are full of diviners from the east and of soothsayers like the Philistines, and they clasp hands with foreigners.
7 Their land is filled with silver and gold, and there is no end to their treasures; their land is filled with horses, and there is no end to their chariots.
8 Their land is filled with idols; they bow down to the work of their hands, to what their own fingers have made.

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Heb lacks [the ways of]
  • [b]. Cn: Heb lacks [of diviners]